Trend Micro Titanium Maximum Security 2012 review

Updated for 2012. Now with bundled smartphone security
Photo of Trend Micro Titanium Maximum Security 2012
£59.95 (1 year, 3PCs)

Trend Micro overhauled its home security software range last year under the rebranded banner ‘Titanium’, which encompassed a number of products: antivirus, internet security and the all-in-one ‘Maximum Security’ suite on test. The new version for 2012 has now arrived and we took the high-end software for a spin to see whether it has built any further on its previous success.

Setup and interface
The initial installation procedure is fast and straightforward, though if you’re looking to utilise the supplied SafeSync component, this must be downloaded separately and involves a reboot.

Once this is done you’ll see an interface that will be familiar to users of last year’s suite, offering simple access to key components including system security, parental controls and a system tuner. Predictably this hasn’t undergone any radical changes, though one interesting tweak for those who will use it is the ability to customise the interface with your own photos or images for that personal touch.

Trend Micro Titanium Maximum Security 2012

The layout of the main interface is very effective, offering quick access to the various types of scan available and prompting users to set up parental controls and tune-up on first use. The rest of the tools are accessible by clicking the ‘Tools’ button, though in some cases, as with SafeSync, they need to be downloaded or signed into via the TrendSecure website, which is accessible through the interface as well. A handy security report is available that summarises recent threats, along with parental control logs and tuneup status, and the settings menus is fairly well tiered to prioritise the most commonly used components.

Key features
As its name suggests, Maximum Security is a comprehensive suite of tools, including all the core security you’d expect such as data theft prevention, web threat protection and a spam blocker. Also included are secure erase tools, the Trend Micro Vault to store sensitive files, wireless authentication to check the legitimacy of wireless hotspots and a browser toolbar to check the safety of websites and search results.

SafeSync Online backup also offers a generous 10GB of secure storage with which to backup your files online. One hang-up we do have about this is that it isn’t integrated into the software, and is instead accessible as a separate package. SafeSync itself is very effective, offering easy and secure access to files from any internet enabled computer, but there’s no local backup option available, which we think is a strange omission from the package as a whole.

What’s new for 2012?
Considering Titanium Maximum Security went through a fairly big overhaul last year, it’s not surprising to see that the focus on this version is more to bring it in line with current standards than add any truly innovative features.

Trend Micro Titanium Maximum Security 2012

The core scanning engine has been improved to better combat modern threats, as has the behavioural monitoring, which will help prevent running processes from making unauthorised or potentially malicious changes.

For those unfamiliar with the Titanium software, it may come as some surprise to note that it doesn’t technically include its own firewall. Instead, it utilises Windows’ built-in software, optimising its performance with proprietary code. This ‘Firewall booster’ has also been improved in this version, along with parental controls and a more efficient system tuner.

In terms of new features, you’ll find a tool designed to clean malicious fake antivirus programs  that pose as system scanners, as well as built-in social network security for Facebook, Twitter and MySpace to scan for and guard against malicious links. Perhaps the most notable addition, though, is mobile protection for Android, Symbian, iOS and Windows phones, with support for up to three devices.

Core performance and usability
Titanium completed a quick scan in just over 3 minutes, which isn’t bad going considering a scan of the same test machine took Norton Internet Security 2012 over three times as long. It was also lighter on system resources than Norton, averaging around 25 per cent CPU usage during a scan, and there were no signs of system slowdown during this process.

Trend Micro Titanium Maximum Security 2012

Elsewhere scores from independent test labs such as AV-Test.org indicate that Titanium does a good job of protecting against the latest threats without being outstanding, lagging somewhat behind industry leaders such as F-secure and Symantec.

Trend Micro Titanium Maximum Security 2012

Company: Trend Micro

Website: http://uk.trendmicro.com/

Contact: Trend Micro on 01628 400500

Positives
  • Easy to use with fast access to key components, decent scan times and useful extras.
Negative
  • Some components could be better integrated; rather expensive given the lack of some 'standard' features.

Verdict

Titanium Maximum Security is a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to weighing up the various components and protection available against the price point and similar offerings from rivals.

Though it's generally very easy to use, the fact that some components aren't better integrated does lose it some points - and it lacks some genuinely useful features, such as local backup and a dedicated firewall, which are now fairly standard elsewhere.

The bundled smartphone security and 10GB of online storage are definitive plus points, as are the fast and effective scans, but it doesn't work quite hard enough to stand out from the crowd, especially considering the fairly high retail price.